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Archive for April 17th, 2007

Alarmingly, over the last few days I’ve realised how completely changed I am when it comes to obscene prices in London. On arrival in the UK, I stopped converting everything mostly just to retain my sanity and deal with my guilt at such expensive living (if you keep thinking of prices in Aussie dollars, you’d be huddling inside, in the cold and the dark, never leaving the house.)

After all, I had savings (and some Christmas money) to live off until I started earning pounds. And now that I do earn the funny money, I have a comfortable income (without being obscene or anything – I constantly remind myself that lots of Londoners are living on less.)

So how the crap did I find myself hovering with a mouse this morning, almost buying a pair of Havaiana ‘flip flops’ (aka thongs in the old language) on-line that were a ghastly £18?? They’re about that in $AUD!! [Yes Mum, this is your cue to go get me some metallic Havis in a 35/36, and post them…] All this sunshine has made me mildly giddy, but that is nuts. There is no reason for the price hike here – other than the willingness of locals to spend silly amounts of money on things. I spend crazy amounts on the most trivial things – my morning coffee (on the days I get one) is AUD $3.70 (!!) and while our washing machine is still broken, each load of washing I was and dry costs AUD $17 (crikey!)

In the past few weeks I’ve spent a small fortune on some cinema tickets (for the same money in Australia, I’d need help to carry the food I could buy with the change, even at candy-bar prices rather than servo-sneak-ins,) and the equivalent of Australia’s foreign aid budget on three books at Books etc. I don’t earn that much more here than I did back in Sydney, but wow I spend a lot – hardly in the lap of luxury, but scary how quick your base prices adjust… I noticed while in Spain that I’m already one of those powerful-currency-losers who delights in converting things to their minuscule cost in pounds! Aggh! Keen not to loose touch with how much money I make in relative terms, but everyone else is living crazy.

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